Ram Cnaan, School of Social Policy & Practice Digital Banking in Rural India

Full Project Title

Reversing the Digital Divide: Digital Banking in Rural India

Principal Investigator

Ram Cnaan
School of Social Policy and Practice

Project Abstract

The Indian government seeks to digitize banking in rural areas, as an attempt to bring the entire country into the Digital Era. Increasing the use of cashless transactions in rural villages has the potential to alleviate cash-based crimes (e.g. bribes, robbery). Digital banking helps to create a safer space and more financial freedom within rural areas. In our research, we will assess households utilizing the digitized banking opportunities that were presented previously to rural areas across the country. We will compare households with access to cashless transactions to those in villages that do not have the same access. This research will take place in four states (i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, & Tamil Nadu) in the southern region of India.  After assessing the data, we seek to understand 1) if an effort to introduce digital banking in rural villages increased residents’ use of digitized banking; 2) the characteristics of the places and people, who utilize the digital banking options; and 3) who remains unbanked in the digitized format. This information will provide policy recommendations as well as a basis for a larger study that we hope to present to the Central Bank of India to understand digital banking opportunities to the unbanked areas all over India.